Mobile Devices Increase in Healthcare Settings

A Taste of Things To Come:

Mobile Devices Increase in Healthcare SettingsTechnology is developing at a dizzying pace, and has infiltrated virtually every aspect of human existence. The number of smartphones, tablets and other advanced technologies in clinical settings has risen exponentially, with more healthcare professionals bringing their own devices to work.  According to FierceMobileHealthcare, 2012 saw a 15% increase in mobile device usage for patient data collection, monitoring and visual representation.  This convenience of capturing, storing and sending real-time patient data is offset by serious concerns regarding security and information management.  The variety of devices and operating systems also presents a challenge for healthcare facilities, as they try to organize and coordinate the data being collected. In an effort to address this issue, a group of healthcare professionals created Happtique, an indexing mobile health application store/app management solution.  Currently available only for iOS devices, we expect an Android version to be not far behind.

Technologies borrowed from gaming, sports and films are also making inroads into healthcare.  Italian researchers have been able to produce a low cost wearable garment with strain sensors to monitor torso stability and flexibility.  Economical data collection solutions enable monitoring of patients’ ADL and PT movements outside the clinical setting, and patient/ clinician “tweaking” of therapies. We have also discussed the use of gaming consoles as a therapeutic tool (See “Thinking Inside the Box…”, September 2012).  Now biomedical engineering companies are retrofitting movie making technologies, particularly green screens and virtual reality, for the healthcare sector.  GestureTek Health, a leading innovator in the field, was recently featured on the TV show “The Doctors”.  Their touch-free, motion activated solutions can keep patients engaged in physical therapies, enhance sensory stimulation/relaxation or entertain them in the waiting room.

Centra would love to hear how technology plays a role in your life as a healthcare professional.  And if you are a CHT, PT, PTA, OT, COTA, SLP, Director of Rehabilitation, RN or Nurse Manager who wants a stimulating and innovative setting to work in, then contact us at 800 535 0076.

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